The New York Mets were leading the NL East last season for almost the first six months of the year.
They had a lead as large as 10.5 games in June but squandered it away to the Atlanta Braves.
But, the Mets are looking to be aggressive in free agency this offseason.
But, the Mets will once again have company at the top of the division race.
The Atlanta Braves have yet to make any big moves, but they still have a young core in place that will make them competitive.
Then the reigning NL champion Philadelphia Phillies acquired one of the best hitters in free agency.
Shortstop Trea Turner agreed to an 11-year deal with the Phillies, which gives them one of the best lineups in baseball.
You could make the argument that both the Phillies and Braves are better than the Mets on paper.
After the aggressive signing of Justin Verlander, what's next for the Mets?
"With starting pitching still a need, I'd favor a run at Kodai Senga or another lower-tier starter…they should also be trying hard to re-sign Brandon Nimmo" (via @DannyAbriano) https://t.co/G7xrOAJGJD pic.twitter.com/35nWVg05J9
— SNY (@SNYtv) December 5, 2022
If they lose those two, the Mets will be looking at the third-best roster in the NL East.
The Mets used to rely on their pitching as their clear advantage over the rest of the division.
But, will they have that same advantage in 2023 with Verlander and Scherzer?
Those are the two aces of the Mets rotation, but they are both on the back end of their careers.
Also, the depth of the Mets’ rotation is no longer existent.
The Mets' rotation as it currently stands:
1. Max Scherzer
2. Justin Verlander
3. Carlos Carrasco
4. David Peterson
5. Tylor Megill
The team is expected to remain involved in the starting pitching market and add an additional arm.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) December 5, 2022
If the Mets do not get the quality starting pitching they are used to, their clear edge in the division is gone.